Book review - Consumer and SME Credit Law by Nora Beausang

AuthorJosh Hogan
Pagespp 164 - 167
Published date12 July 2022
Date12 July 2022
Consumer and SME Credit Law
Consumer and SME Credit Law by Nora Beausang (Bloomsbury Professional,
e Labyrinth of Ancient Greece is famous as the elaborate system of passageways
and blind alleys that trapped the Minotaur, a creature with a human body and
a bull’s head. In order to free Athens of its terrible obligation to provide human
sacrices to the Minotaur, the hero eseus ventured into this confusing maze
from which no-one had ever come out alive. Crucially, he had the help of Ariadne
who provided him with a ball of string to mark his way; he slew the Minotaur, and
retraced his steps to escape the Labyrinth.
While the life of a nancial services regulatory practitioner such as myself tends
to be less swashbuckling than that of an Ancient Greek hero, the feeling of being
caught in a labyrinth is familiar. It is with good reason that Nora Beausang, in
her excellent book, Consumer and SME Credit Law, variously describes the legal
framework of consumer and SME protections relevant to the provision of cash loans
as ‘labyrinthine’, as well as ‘confusing’, ‘fragmented’ and ‘entirely unsatisfactory’. It is
dicult to argue with her recommendation for a forensic and holistic review with
an eye to eventual consolidation.
In the meantime, we are fortunate that, in Consumer and SME Credit Law, Ms
Beausang has provided us with a substantial ball of string to help us nd our way
around the labyrinth: this is a weighty tome extending to 2,362 pages. It is replete
with useful information and analysis, especially to explain the oen-complex
interrelationships between the legislative and regulatory provisions relevant to
consumer and SME credit. Notwithstanding its size, it is notable that the book’s
scope is conned to the provision of credit by way of cash loans (including
overdras and credit card facilities) only. Other types of credit such as hire
purchase and invoice discounting are outside of scope, and so too are the activities
of crowdfunding platforms, credit unions, debt management rms, moneylenders
and credit intermediaries.
Ms Beausang modestly notes in her preface that she did not set out to create the
work in its current extensive form. e book began as a proposed ‘extra couple
of chapters’ in her husband William Johnston’s book Banking and Security Law
* Josh Hogan is a partner with McCann FitzGerald LLP. He specialises in nancial services regulation
and ntech. He is a former member of the Editorial Board of the Hibernian Law Journal. Any
opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone.

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